Egmont Tornberg


Colonel, aviation pioneer.

Egmont Tornberg was born in 1891 in Rytterne and later became a lieutenant in the Navy in 1914, lieutenant in 1917 and began flying in 1918.

He joined the Air Force when it was formed in 1926 and in the same year, as captain, set a height record in altitude flying by seaplane. The height record was set at 5731 m with a Heinkel with 500 kg load (counter-combat load). The record was duly approved by the international federation and surpassed the previous record by 700 m.

In 1928, Egmont was head of the Swedish rescue expedition of survivors of the Italian airship Italia north of Spitsbergen. He showed impressive leadership during the harsh material and human stresses of two months in very difficult rapidly changing weather conditions with risky flight across the Arctic Ocean, ice drift and thick.

Part of the rescue team with Tornberg in the middle.
Photo: from private collection.

From the Italia action of 1928.
Photo: from private collection.

Later in life, Tornberg was head of F 1, Jämtland Air Force F 4 and Norrbotten Air Base Corps F 21.

In 1940, Tornberg became colonel and eleven years later he died at the age of 59, being the last of the marine pilots to start his flying career in 1917.


Burial site: 0115-0811B

Image description: Portrait photograph by Egmont Tornberg, Head of the Western Air Base Area 1943-1946. Signed, framed photo. Photo: Unknown Photographer / Air Force Museum. [The image is cropped]
Click here for an uncropped image